Hi everyone, welcome to my collab post with Growing With Spawn. We teamed up to share our top blogging lessons from 2020. In this post, Shelly humbly shares 5 blogging mistakes she made. On the flip side, my post on Growing With Spawn today has 3 blogging tips I learned that work like a charm. We hope you find our posts useful as you gear up your blog for 2021. Without further ado, let me make way for Shelly’s brilliant post which will have you chuckling while imparting some valuable information. Thanks for writing this Shelly!
Blogging mistakes I’ve made in 2020
Hi, I’m Shelly from GrowingWithSpawn.com and I’m very excited to be doing this collaboration with Jan. On my lifestyle blog, I cover mental health, lifestyle and parenting, so if that’s your vibe, let’s connect!
It’s been a very long year with everything that has happened, I’m sure you can all agree. One thing I am trying to do is be grateful for all of the opportunities and lessons that came along with this deletable year. When Jan reached out to collaborate about our blogging lessons, quite a few mistakes popped into my mind immediately. You see, this is my first year blogging… Before April, I didn’t even know what a blog really was! So it is only natural that in these past few months I committed many faux pas that experienced bloggers would know not to do. Hopefully you cannot relate and won’t make the same mistakes I did. If you have, let’s just have a giggle!
#1 Choosing the wrong niche
This one is actually the biggest mistake I made when I started my blog. For some strange reason (and I’ll happily blame hormones), I assumed that I wanted to share every single thing about being a mother on the blog. I planned on writing about every cute thing that my daughter did, every moment that made me roll my eyes and every time I felt like crying. The issue with this is that I don’t quite plan on letting the whole world into my life like that… Can you imagine how it would feel if people started criticising my parenting style? And let’s not forget the many stalkers in the cyber world. My daughter is too precious for her life to be put at risk like that! Besides, who even cares to listen to parents bragging about their lives?
This obviously ties in with the first mistake I made. So when it comes down to settling into your niche, how you brand your blog is quite important. You want your readers to be clear about what they can expect from you, how skilled you are in the subject and so on. So when you come into the blogging world with a name like “Growing With Spawn”, expectations are that you’ll be full on parenting. Spoiler alert: I failed all my parenting classes and am just scraping by!
Since I changed my niche just two months ago, I’m finding it difficult to grow my following based on what I had already worked so hard to promote. If you’re just starting out, please don’t make the same mistakes as I did! Especially if you’ll be purchasing your domain!
#3. Not learning about SEO
SEO sounds like a three eyed monster doesn’t it? That’s because it really is! Ok, that’s a bit dramatic. For any newbies out there, search engine optimisation is the thing that will get people to find all of that hard work you put into your posts, be it on Google, Pinterest or whatever search engines/social media tools people use. After 6 months of blogging my way, I learnt that none of my posts were optimised at all. So all the passion and pain that went into the posts was limited to the very few people that already knew about my blog. That’s not all that bad if your aim isn’t to become the biggest thing since the internet, but it wasn’t what I wanted.
Looking back, I wish I had spent more time learning about how to make a blog succeed and edited my posts for SEO as I went along. Now I’m stuck with over 70 posts that I am slowly optimising… between everything else that life has to offer!
#4. Not shamelessly promoting my blog
I chuckled as I wrote that title because I know it’s something I still don’t do. Everything in me screams ‘too shy’ when it comes to promoting what I do. It’s the same reason why my boss doesn’t know what amazing accomplishments I’ve had, or why my family still doesn’t know what my job really is. When it comes to blogging, the internet is already so saturated with content that you need to promote your work. If you read ‘blogging advice’ posts, they will tell you to use social media like your life depends on it – because it does. Your blogging life that is!
So now that I know I need to promote my blog, what is the next step? Well, it’s actually doing it! And doing it the right way. I’ve learnt the hard way that my 800+ friends on Facebook will not subscribe to my blog. My family is not going to read every word I publish and my colleagues don’t care what I do in my free time. That means it’s the other bloggers that will support me. It’s the people searching for solutions that will read my posts. It’s the search engines that will bring in the traffic. It’s a harsh reality but that means networking, growing, optimising. Once that’s done, rinse and repeat!
#5. Selective connections
Firstly, I would really like to apologise to all the bloggers who have worked really hard with others to create a blog. It took a while to realise that if a blog had two authors, you can’t just befriend one or promote one. You need to support the blog as a whole! For the most part I dodged this mistake by not directing any comments to one specific person, but in the recent weeks I did make a massive mistake of asking one blogger from a certain site to collaborate.
It’s not detrimental to my blog’s success, but from a networking perspective, you need to keep in mind that behind each blog is a person with feelings. Selecting who you interact with from a blog with many authors can actually hurt people’s feelings! The other thing is not knowing how they come up with the content they have… Do they split the work? Does one write and the other proof reads? Are they working on every post together? You never really know any of that, so just avoid any issues!
There are quite a few other blogging lessons that 2020 has sent my way, but of the list, these are the ones I’d hate to see new bloggers make. So if you’re new to blogging, please make sure to do your homework! Also, don’t be afraid to reach out to other bloggers for help. Most of us really enjoy the interactions and helping others grow! I absolutely love finding new blogs to follow so if you’d like to connect, head on over to my blog and let’s connect on the socials!
Also, before I forget, make sure to check out Jan’s post on my site too! She’s an awesome writer so of course I’m gonna shamelessly promote her work to everyone! Until next time, Happy Holidays! Hugs, Shelly.
What’s the biggest blogging mistake you made in 2020?
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